Historic England Grants

Historic England provides grants for a variety of purposes (including repair) designed to ensure the protection of the historic environment. Work supported by these grants must be sympathetic to the character and importance of the building, site or landscape.

There is a very high demand for Historic England grants, so it is not always possible to offer a grant to every project that qualifies for support.

Historic England’s powers to give grants are set out in legislation (1). Its powers are wider in London than elsewhere since it took over the Greater London Council’s responsibilities in this respect.

Historic England is by no means the only source of funding for historic buildings. Guides to other sources of funds, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund are also published by the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Heritage Alliance on their websites.

Grant aims

One of Historic England's main aims is to promote a wider appreciation of the historic environment and in most cases grants are offered on condition that a guaranteed level of public access is provided for ten (or for large grants, fifteen) years after grant-aided work has been completed.

Another aim is to ensure that repairs are completed to a high standard and that the property is regularly maintained in the future in order to achieve high quality sustainable results as well as value for money.

Grant priorities

All applications are assessed against Historic England’s grant priorities, which in brief are:

1. Rescuing significant elements of the historic environment at risk. A property can be considered to be at risk of loss through neglect, decay or inappropiate development (see Heritage at Risk Register).

2. Proposals that seek to strengthen the ability of the sector to reduce or avoid risk to the historic environment by understanding, managing and conserving it.

Historic England also needs to be satisfied that owners have explored other sources of charitable, private or public funding, for example, from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Repair grants

The repair grants scheme covers grants for the repair and conservation of some of England’s most significant listed buildings, monuments and registered parks and gardens.

Grants are primarily offered for urgent repairs or other work required within two years to prevent loss or damage to important architectural, historic, archaeological or landscape features.

War memorials

Historic England and the Wolfson Foundation provide grants for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England. These grants are intended to help those who are responsible for the upkeep of war memorials.

The scheme is run by the War Memorials Trust.

Capacity Building Programme

The programme provides funding for projects which promote the conservation, understanding and enjoyment of the historic environment.

Grants to local authorities to underwrite urgent works notices

This scheme is designed to encourage and support local authorities in the use of their statutory powers to ensure that work urgently necessary for the preservation of a vacant or partly occupied listed building in their areas is undertaken.

The grants underwrite the local authorities irrecoverable costs in executing an urgent works notice, including the cost of professional services used by the authority to enable it to serve the notice.

Acquisition grants to local authorities to underwrite repairs notices

This grant scheme provides financial assistance to local authorities to underwrite the cost of serving a statutory repairs notice (2) as the first stage in the possible compulsory acquisition of historic buildings that have fallen into a serious and dangerous state of disrepair.

Further details can be found in the Historic England publication 'Stopping the Rot' .

Management agreements for field monuments

Historic England can offer funding to improve the management of monuments via term agreements with landowners or tenants.

Heritage Protection Commissions Programme

Grants are made available for projects to develop innovative ways to protect the historic environment from harm and to enrich skills and expertise to help care for it. The scheme is open to all organisations, ranging from local authorities and universities to charitable trusts, companies and self-employed individuals.

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